KATIE Taylor has vowed to retire undefeated from professional boxing.
“I’m pretty certain I will retire undefeated,” said Taylor after securing her nineteenth win on the spin and retaining her five world lightweight championship belts with a shut-out 120-109 victory over Jennifer Han in Leeds last night.
Even though the Bray fighter was frustrated that she didn’t end the fight inside the distance, she acknowledged that she needs better quality opponents to bring the best out of her.
“I can’t be too disappointed, I guess. All across the board it was a dominant victory. I don’t think there were any fireworks throughout the fight, but a win is a win and I happy with that.
“She was quite awkward, crafty and slippery, and we knew that coming into the fight. We knew she had a good jab. We knew she was good on her feet; we knew she was quite crafty inside.
“I definitely would have liked a stoppage tonight. But it takes two to tangle and she was very good at surviving, but a win is a win.
“We definitely tried to push the pace in the last few rounds, but we knew it was shut-out victory. I tried to keep pushing it during the last few rounds. We were trying to force something.
“But it was very hard to catch her clean because she is good at holding and very crafty inside. What do you do?”
But Han suggested it was Taylor who was doing the holding. Holding an ice pack to her left cheekbone Han said: “She is a smart fighter, but I expected more. I expected her to box more and I was disappointed with the holding. I didn’t expect the close inside holding.
“Other than that, it was a great fight. I am now looking forward to getting back home (to El Paso) to see my two boys. I miss them terribly,” said Han who flew home this morning.
Meanwhile, Taylor is heading home to Bray for a short holiday before returning to her training base in Connecticut to prepare for her next fight which her manager Brian Peters said is likely to take place in the United States in early December.
There is no shortage of opponents as every female pro fighter wants to get into the ring against her as it guarantees them the biggest pay-night of their career.
Taylor could fight against either 2016 Olympic gold medallist Estelle Mossely from France – who beat Taylor in the semi-finals of the world championships in 2016 – or Firuza Sharipova from Kazakhstan.
“I guess when I turned pro a few years ago we didn’t know how this journey was going to go. So, it is amazing to see.
“All the big names are calling me out. It is a great position to be in, “ said Taylor who has become the female equivalent of Saul Canelo Alvarez, the dominant figure in male boxing at the moment.
Taylor’s dream is become a multi-weight undisputed world champion.
“At the end of my career I would like to be a multi-weight undisputed world champion. It would be an amazing and very special and it is very, very doable.”
The 20,000 fans inside the Headingley Stadium gave Taylor a tumultuous reception confirming a trend which has been growing since she began when she made her professional debut in England in 2016. She is now as treasured in the UK as she in her native country.
“The reception was incredible, and the atmosphere was insane. Obviously, this was the first time that I fought in front of a crowd for a long time. I was getting goose bumps even listening to the crowd as I walked out.
“It definitely made it very, very special. I have been saying all week that this city holds a special place in my heart, and I think the whole city got behind me.
“I definitely feel the support was been incredible over here (in the UK) for me. for . Like you said, they have taken me as one her own for the last few years which is fantastic. I had been saying all week that my Dad is from Leeds, so I hope they did know that as well.
“The last time I was here was when I was a child and I think Leeds United won every time I went to see them. It is amazing to come back and see the city again and be around the Leeds people again. I actually love how passionate they were and how loud they were.”
They are definitely my kind of people,” said Taylor who with a wry smile said she felt it best not to say during the build-up that her all-time favourite soccer player was Roy Keane.